Hi-Res audio: It’s all about a maturing market

Music streaming contrasts sharply with video streaming. While the video marketplace is characterised by unique catalogues, a variety of pricing and diverse value propositions music streaming services are all at their core fundamentally the same product. When the market was in its hyper-growth phase and there were enough new users to go around, it did not matter too much that the streaming services only had branding, curation and interface to differentiate themselves from each other. Now that we are approaching a slowdown in the high-revenue developed markets, more is needed. Which is where Hi-Res comes in.

Spotlight

ToonBox Entertainment

With the national and international theatrical success of The Nut Job with Open Road Films, and The Weinstein Company, ToonBox Entertainment is an industry leading creator and producer of visually dynamic animated television shows and films for family audiences worldwide. ToonBox Entertainment collaborates with international partners to produce and distribute content, most notably works with Korean-based Company, Redrover, Chinese-based Hoongman, and LA-based Gulfstream Pictures. In a team of highly skilled and leading talent within cutting edge facilities.

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Media and Broadcasting

3 Applications of AI in the Entertainment Industry

Article | May 19, 2021

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) in the entertainment industry has automated time-consuming mundane tasks and increased proficiency in delivering winning content to drive engagement. Production businesses can make informed decisions on marketing and advertising because AI can examine critical data and provide important insights into consumer behavior. Let us look at three other important applications of AI in the entertainment industry: Content Personalization Made Easy Streaming websites like Spotify and Netflix contribute content that attracts a diverse audience with different tastes and choices. They are adopting AI and machine learning algorithms to analyze individual user performance and demographics to promote content that users are interested in. Such personalized content recommendations create audience engagement. AI also helps optimize video quality based on how fast the internet is in a certain place so that streaming works without buffering. Streamlined Movie Production Processes The movie production process is time-consuming and complex. Using AI can help automate processes like sound production, storyboarding, scheduling, and pre-production tasks. It can also automatically sync and group filmed clips. Machine learning has graphics and visual effects that can be used to make fictional characters look better. Subtitle Generation for International Communications Content publishing businesses need to cater to an audience from various regions. Multilingual subtitles make this interaction easier. Manual transcription is time-consuming and requires expensive human resources that businesses cannot afford. Also, human error and variable efficiency are issues that can tamper with customer experience. Any kind of delay in presenting subtitles can put the audio-video-subtitles out of sync. AI prevents such mishaps through speech and vocabulary integration in conversations using neural interfaces. Last Words Apart from the implementation of AI in entertainment, the development of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) apps will make the customer experience immersive and captivating. Moreover, AI-based chatbots can be used for promotional operations for books, films, artists, and TV shows. Platforms in the entertainment sector involve AI to efficiently enhance user engagement and production rates.

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Media and Broadcasting

How blockchain is transforming online gaming for players

Article | June 17, 2021

For online gamers, in-game purchases made to buy special swords, guns, or other add-ons to play their adventure, warfare, and other games are one-time, non-transferable investments that lock them into their pretend worlds. That's something companies like Polyient Games want to change by registering those purchases using blockchain and transforming the previously one-way transactions into liquid assets which are transferable for cash.

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Media and Broadcasting, Business

Instagram continues to perform strongly despite inconsistent brand identity

Article | August 4, 2022

Over the last few months Instagram has done its best to capitalise on the latest social media success tactics, often at the cost of its own original user proposition. The photo-sharing app for friends now offers Reels, imitating TikTok’s success. It has rolled out an option to hide Likes, the iconic feature which has characterised social media as a whole since inception. And it now is introducing ‘suggested posts’ to users’ feeds, sorted by topics a profile states they are interested in – potentially putting these ahead of photos and videos shared by profiles they actually follow. Directly mimicking TikTok, this seems to diverge very little in practice from hashtags, which are its original discovery feature. Instead, it seems to want to emulate the usability which younger users are familiar with from TikTok, in order to entice them to increase their Instagram engagement.

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Six Things Blockchain Can Do For Gaming

Article | April 14, 2020

Since their foundation in the 1970s and 80s, video games have moved from fringe interest to a major media staple. The industry has enjoyed huge revenues from dedicated fans, especially over the past few months, and the growth shows no sign of slowing down. Gaming is also an industry renowned for its commitment to innovation, adopting technological developments and spawning a fair few of its own. Chief amongst technological developments over the last decade has been blockchain technology, the new system of trading and ownership built on transparency and decentralization, the standard-bearer of which is the digital currency.

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Spotlight

ToonBox Entertainment

With the national and international theatrical success of The Nut Job with Open Road Films, and The Weinstein Company, ToonBox Entertainment is an industry leading creator and producer of visually dynamic animated television shows and films for family audiences worldwide. ToonBox Entertainment collaborates with international partners to produce and distribute content, most notably works with Korean-based Company, Redrover, Chinese-based Hoongman, and LA-based Gulfstream Pictures. In a team of highly skilled and leading talent within cutting edge facilities.

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Solutions

Consello Group Announces the Launch of Strive

PR Newswire | January 15, 2024

The sports and entertainment industries are being transformed by emerging technologies, the globalization of leading brands and the institutionalization of ownership. Within this rapidly changing environment, Consello Strive will seek to empower those investing in or commercializing assets in the sports, media, and entertainment arena to maximize their business potential and create the highest sustainable value. Consello will advise on how best to evolve investments, businesses, leagues, teams, or brand strategy across technology, infrastructure, commercial partnerships and acquisitions, among other disciplines. Consello Group co-founder, and seven-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady, will be joined as a founding partner in this new division by 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams, and two-time NBA champion, six-time NBA All-Star and NBA Basketball Hall of Famer, Pau Gasol. Mr. Gasol will also lead a team focused on expanding Consello Strive's interests throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Consello Strive will be chaired by Mark Dowley, Chief Operating Partner at Redbird Capital, who has over 30 years of senior managerial experience in the sports and entertainment industries. Other founding partners in the new enterprise are: Declan Kelly Janey Whiteside Peter Mattoon Dr. Oscar Salazar Mindy Grossman Over the course of the coming weeks, Consello will announce a number of commercial partnership agreements with leading third-party industry participants and individuals as part of its rollout of Consello Strive around the world. Announcing the new division, Consello Group Founder, Chairman and CEO Declan Kelly said: "We believe that Consello Strive has the potential to change the entire global landscape of sports, entertainment and leadership development because of the opportunities that exist in the marketplace today and the unique experience, relationships and track record of the team we have assembled. Over the coming months we will be expanding our presence and partnerships further and rolling out a series of new services as part of the overall platform. We couldn't be more excited to have this senior group come together to build this groundbreaking new business." Tom Brady added: "Since the start of our journey at Consello our mission has been very clear – to make the best in the world even better. With Consello Strive we are bringing the very best in the world together to help advise people everywhere in the fields of sports and entertainment in ways that have never been done before. I am especially passionate about the launch of our leadership development vertical because working with leaders to drive them to search for improvement in whatever they do is something my partners and I have been devoted to our entire careers." Serena Williams added: "I am excited to deepen my relationship with Consello by joining Consello's Strive platform as a partner. The next chapter of my life will be as exciting and fulfilling as the last one, and I have no doubt that the team we have assembled here will help me do just that. I am also excited to help Consello Strive as a business to grow and expand around the world." Pau Gasol said: "I've seen firsthand the lasting impact that sports can create, both on and off the court. Joining Consello Strive as a partner is a natural step for me because of my passion for growth, mentorship, and creating impactful change, just like I am already doing through Gasol16 Ventures, my investment vehicle, and through the Gasol Foundation, whose mission is to eradicate childhood obesity. I'm excited about embarking on this journey, and I will additionally be focusing on building out our offering in the Spanish-speaking world where some of the greatest athletes, entertainers and leaders show us daily what it means to be truly great." Mark Dowley, Chairman of Consello Strive, said: "We have assembled an unstoppable team of athletes, trusted advisors to the world's business leaders, and proven global operators, who together will bring a broad-based set of perspectives, experiences and skills to the fore on behalf of the sports, entertainment and media leaders across the world. Consello Strive is unlike any other business in the market; my partners and I look forward to applying our knowledge and expertise to help our clients identify and unlock their full potential in the high growth sectors of sports, entertainment and media." Consello partner Janey Whiteside said: "Consello's unparalleled connection to the world's business leaders paired with the incomparable expertise of the sports icons involved, gives Consello Strive a unique opportunity to partner, advise and invest across the dynamic $550bn landscape that we see in front of us today in sports and entertainment. Commercializing that opportunity is something we believe we are better positioned to do than anyone else in the world today." Consello partner Mindy Grossman said: "I have spent my entire life working with and mentoring emerging leadership talent across multiple different businesses and industries, and that has taken me on an unforgettable journey through retail, sports, television, media and entertainment, and health and wellness. Launching Consello Strive today brings all those passions and interests together into one place and one platform and I truly believe we can and will change lives as part of what we are doing. I am especially thrilled that my friend and collaborator of more than 20 years, Serena Williams, is expanding her role with us on this journey and I am very confident we all can change the world together." Consello was launched less than two years ago and already has more than 100 employees and advisors, with offices in New York, London, Miami, Barcelona and Atlanta. About Consello The Consello Group is a financial services advisory and strategic investing platform. At Consello we invest capital to grow companies, we execute for our banking clients across industries, and we provide business development and marketing services to help companies grow and evolve. We also advise across sports, entertainment and leadership development, and our digital assets advisory business helps companies participate in the global digital financial services ecosystem. Consello offers these six distinct but integrated lines of businesses all on one platform: Sports, Entertainment and Leadership Development; M&A Advisory and Investment Banking; Investing; Growth and Business Development; Marketing and Brand Advisory; and Digital Assets Advisory.

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Media and Broadcasting

SONY MUSIC MASTERWORKS LAUNCHES NEW JOINT VENTURE WITH UK-BASED LIVE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY, ROAST PRODUCTIONS

PR Newswire | January 11, 2024

Sony Music Masterworks, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, today announced a new strategic venture with Roast Productions, a live entertainment company founded by Bonnie Royal and Michael Stevens. Based in London and operating internationally, Roast Productions focuses on producing theatre, concerts, and family entertainment events. Royal and Stevens will continue to lead the company's day-to-day operations and collaborate with Masterworks on the development of a range of new productions, working in close partnership with both Masterworks President Mark Cavell and Ollie Rosenblatt, founder and CEO of Senbla, a UK producer/promoter. Recent and current shows include MACBETH starring Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma playing in Liverpool, Edinburgh, London and Washington DC; 2:22 A GHOST STORY in the West End (Apollo Theatre), touring in the UK and Australia; CHRISTMAS ACTUALLY, a Christmas variety show curated by "Love Actually" filmmaker Richard Curtis and produced in partnership with Senbla; the highly acclaimed West End run of VANYA starring Andrew Scott; and the new musical COWBOY BOB at the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX; as well as the 2024 UK tour of THE 13-STOREY TREEHOUSE based on the best-selling book by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. The company will also offer production, general management, and marketing services in the West End and beyond. At the same time, Roast Productions is pleased to announce strategic agreements with National Theatre Productions and Various Productions, as co-producer for STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE at the Gillian Lynne Theatre opening in February, and with the Ambassador Theatre Group, as Creative Producer of the inaugural WIMBLEDON CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL at the New Wimbledon Theatre, launching in Summer 2024. Mark Cavell, President of Sony Music Masterworks, said, "I'm absolutely delighted to welcome Bonnie and Michael to the Sony Music Masterworks family. Their creativity and expertise will further support our endeavours in securing and creating new quality and original live productions that will captivate and entertain audiences across the globe, and provide first-class content for our other partners to promote and market." Bonnie Royal and Michael Stevens, Producers and Co-Managing Directors of Roast, commented, "It is an absolute honour to join Sony Music Masterworks and develop new work and new markets together. The strength of its vision and values makes it the ideal partner for us as we develop a diverse body of work in the UK and internationally." Sony Music Masterworks' agreement with Roast Productions is the latest in a series of strategic partnerships and acquisitions advancing its growth as a multi-faceted worldwide entertainment business operating in more than 30 countries. The network of companies includes Black Ink Presents, a Los Angeles-based creative design and production services company; Culture Creative, a production and project management team specialising in developing site-specific and bespoke projects in unique heritage and landscape settings; Netherlands-based GEA Live, which designs, represents and produces shows and experiences based on prominent IP in music, film, television, anime and gaming; The Luna Entertainment Group, the UK market-leader of open-air, drive-in and pop-up cinema experiences which also stages high quality location-based entertainment experiences, exhibitions and events; MAC Global, an award-winning, pan-regional concert promotion, talent management, events and production company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Proactiv Entertainment, the live event producer and promoter based in Barcelona, Spain; Raymond Gubbay Ltd., the music, dance & Light Trail/Lightscape promoter; RoadCo Entertainment, the New York-based producing and distribution agency specialising in live entertainment experiences; Seaview, the Tony and Olivier award-winning media company with theatre, film, TV, and digital verticals; Senbla, the London-based producer/promoter of quality music, theatre and immersive events, shows and festivals and Terrapin Station Entertainment, an artist management, tour production and sports/stadium consultancy company which specialises in family-friendly and brand-led events, immersive exhibits, game shows and charity concerts. ABOUT BONNIE ROYAL Over her career, Bonnie Royal has headed up an extensive and diverse portfolio of productions. Previously as Commercial Director of Fierylight, she worked with global brands including the children's entertainment icon PEPPA PIG for over 10 years (including 11 seasons in London's West End), and led the development and production of family titles such as Julia Donaldson's THE SMARTEST GIANT IN TOWN with Little Angel Theatre in 2020, which went on to have a sell-out UK tour and played an Olivier Award-nominated West End season. As Marketing Director, Royal's credits include The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company: PLAYS AT THE GARRICK season (which included THE WINTER'S TALE starring Dame Judi Dench and ROMEO AND JULIET starring Lily James and Richard Madden) to HAIRSPRAY (London Coliseum), CIRCUS 1903 (Southbank Centre), THE 39 STEPS (West End) and FLEABAG (West End), as well as the West End transfers of The Almeida's MARY STUART and the National Theatre's HOME, I'M DARLING. Most recent projects include Rodgers and Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA! (West End) and THE PADDINGTON BEAR EXPERIENCE (County Hall). ABOUT MICHAEL STEVENS With over more than 20 years in the performing arts industry, Michael Stevens has focused on creative collaboration, with a sustained commitment to the commissioning and production of new works. His work in an Executive Producer role with organisations – including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Festival and Arts Centre Melbourne – led to dozens of new (and many award-winning) creations across theatre, musical theatre, dance, opera, circus, classical and contemporary music, film, visual arts and in the digital arena. Returning in 2016 to London, Stevens co-founded Fiery Angel Entertainment, with which he introduced CIRCUS 1903 to London for four seasons at Royal Festival Hall and Hammersmith Apollo and BARRY HUMPHRIES' WEIMAR CABARET at the Barbican Theatre. New productions have included GUYS AND DOLLS at the Royal Albert Hall, directed by Stephen Mear with an all-star cast, and the European premiere of DOLLY PARTON'S SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Southbank Centre, as well as touring projects such as ROB BRYDON – A NIGHT OF SONGS AND LAUGHTER (80 shows at London Palladium and on tour around UK/Australia/New Zealand); PEPPA PIG – MY FIRST CONCERT (Royal Festival Hall, London Coliseum, & 90+ UK dates); BLACK BLUES BROTHERS (UK regional tour) and TUBULAR BELLS – THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION (50 shows at Royal Festival Hall and on UK tour). ABOUT SENBLA A leading producer and promoter of hundreds of live shows around the world annually, Senbla provides a wide range of services in support of performing arts productions, artist tours, large scale artist concerts, and concept-based shows, as well as theatrical and family entertainment events. Its extensive capabilities includes licensing and production, plus management of all aspects of global Intellectual Property rights. The company has worked on numerous recent productions including the 'Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse' concert with live orchestra which played 85 dates globally; Michael Bublé at the Bath Royal Crescent; a run of Lionel Richie UK shows; Diana Ross's recent UK Arena Tour; concert with live orchestra dates from Ennio Morricone, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Joss Stone, The Holiday, Love Actually, and A Muppets' Christmas Carol; opera events, the Disney 100 UK Arena Tour, and Circus 1903. Senbla also is an investor in theatrical shows including "Six" on Broadway and its US Tour, and is a co-promoter and producer of shows internationally.

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Business

Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming Expand Innovative Programs in Fight Against Human Trafficking

PR Newswire | January 16, 2024

Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming announce their ongoing commitment to the fight against human trafficking with new support tools for victims and those at risk, a youth education program, new trainings to help Team Members combat and prevent human trafficking, and work with new community partners to create a greater impact. "We are deeply committed to the work our community partners provide for those at risk, victims and survivors of human trafficking in the United States and around the world, as we work together to combat human trafficking," said Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International and CEO of Seminole Gaming. Over the last several years, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have implemented comprehensive protocols to increase awareness of and prevent human trafficking, including training over 27,000 hotel and casino Team Members globally and collaborating with local community partners and advocacy groups. Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming are continuing their work in 2024 with direct support for victims, survivors, and at-risk youth, through the following programs: First Hospitality Brands to Globally Implement Twentyfour-Seven QR Code Created for trafficking survivors, by survivors at Twentyfour-Seven Inc., Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming are the first hospitality brands to implement the Twentyfour-Seven QR code sticker, which provides critical information and support to those who need it, while also deterring traffickers from targeting individuals on the properties. The Twentyfour-Seven QR code sticker, which has resulted in several law enforcement investigations being opened, is being implemented in 44 hotels and casinos across 13 countries. This QR code, which offers information in several different languages, is helping people at risk find a way to understand their situations and the resources available for protection. Expanding Youth Education in Mexico to Prevent Online Luring Building upon the success of the Hard Rock Social Identity Quest (SIQ), an education program that helps teens understand the risks of being lured online, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have now expanded the program into classrooms in Mexico following a well-received pilot in Quintana Roo last year that reached 35,000 students. The state's Governor has made the program a mandatory part of the educational curriculum. To effectively reach Mexican youth, the SIQ content was co-developed with experts from PACT- (Protect All Children from Trafficking; formerly ECPAT-USA), ECPAT-Mexico, and EduNetwork Partners. To date, the Hard Rock Social Identity Quest was adopted and taught by 60,000 teachers in 45 U.S. states, reaching 1.2 million high school students, eight percent of the student population. Nearly 2,000 Hard Rock team members also completed the Quest with a young person in their lives. Funding our Community Partners through Change for Change Through its Change for Change program, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming will raise funds to combat human trafficking during January. Casino guests will have the opportunity to donate change from redeemed gaming vouchers to the Hard Rock Heals Foundation, where 100 percent of the funds will benefit our community partners: PACT, the first U.S. organization to focus on the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and Twentyfour-Seven. In 2023, this program raised $100,000 for PACT and Covenant House New York. Youth Employment Program with FLITE Center Florida and Covenant House New York Offered initially in New York City and extended to South Florida last year, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming's Youth Employment Program aims to help protect youth at risk and support survivors to escape a life of trafficking by helping them forge careers in hospitality. Partners include Covenant House New York City, the largest provider of runaway and homeless youth services in New York City, and FLITE Center, South Florida's leading agency for vulnerable youth and those aging out of foster care. FLITE Center provides support to vulnerable youth with guidance on education, employment, housing health and wellness, and care coordination. Setting a New Standard for Training in the Gaming Industry with the American Gaming Association Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming are driving the advancement of industry practices to combat human trafficking with the American Gaming Association's (AGA) Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force's first-ever free industry-developed training, designed to be the new standard in training for the gaming industry. Working with non-profit and law enforcement partners, the AGA Taskforce created this training based on trauma-informed care and the contributions of trafficking survivors. It will help set a standard for the gaming industry and ensure that guest-facing Team Members know how to recognize signs that trafficking may occur and what steps to take. Learn more about Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming's corporate social responsibility initiatives at www.hardrock.com/social-responsibility. About Hard Rock®: Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies with venues in over 70 countries spanning 309 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops®, Live Performance Venues and Cafes. HRI also launched a joint venture named Hard Rock Digital in 2020, an online sportsbook, retail sportsbook and internet gaming platform. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's largest and most valuable collection of authentic music memorabilia at more than 87,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock Hotels has been honored by J.D. Power's North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study as the number one brand in Outstanding Guest Satisfaction for two consecutive years, and among the top Upper Upscale Hotels for four consecutive years. HRI became the first privately-owned gaming company designated a U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal in 2021, and has since been honored threefold. Hard Rock was also honored by Forbes among the World's Best Employers, as well as Best Employers for Women, Diversity and New Grads and a Top Large Employer in the Travel & Leisure, Gaming, and Entertainment Industry. In the 2022 Global Gaming Awards, Hard Rock was named Land-Based Operator of the Year for the second time in four years. Hard Rock International currently holds investment grades from primary investment-grade rating agencies: S&P Global Ratings (BBB) and Fitch Ratings (BBB). For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com or shop.hardrock.com. About Seminole Gaming: Seminole Gaming manages six Florida casino enterprises for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, including Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla. Seminole Gaming has long been recognized for its industry innovations and success. The Seminole Tribe was the first Indian Tribe in North America to open Ultimate Bingo, a high-stakes bingo hall and casino, which debuted in 1979 and became the forerunner of the Indian Gaming movement. Seminole Gaming is currently the only gaming company with investment grade ratings from all three primary investment-grade rating agencies: S&P Global Ratings (BBB), Moody's Corporation (Baa2) and Fitch Ratings (BBB).

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Solutions

Consello Group Announces the Launch of Strive

PR Newswire | January 15, 2024

The sports and entertainment industries are being transformed by emerging technologies, the globalization of leading brands and the institutionalization of ownership. Within this rapidly changing environment, Consello Strive will seek to empower those investing in or commercializing assets in the sports, media, and entertainment arena to maximize their business potential and create the highest sustainable value. Consello will advise on how best to evolve investments, businesses, leagues, teams, or brand strategy across technology, infrastructure, commercial partnerships and acquisitions, among other disciplines. Consello Group co-founder, and seven-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady, will be joined as a founding partner in this new division by 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams, and two-time NBA champion, six-time NBA All-Star and NBA Basketball Hall of Famer, Pau Gasol. Mr. Gasol will also lead a team focused on expanding Consello Strive's interests throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Consello Strive will be chaired by Mark Dowley, Chief Operating Partner at Redbird Capital, who has over 30 years of senior managerial experience in the sports and entertainment industries. Other founding partners in the new enterprise are: Declan Kelly Janey Whiteside Peter Mattoon Dr. Oscar Salazar Mindy Grossman Over the course of the coming weeks, Consello will announce a number of commercial partnership agreements with leading third-party industry participants and individuals as part of its rollout of Consello Strive around the world. Announcing the new division, Consello Group Founder, Chairman and CEO Declan Kelly said: "We believe that Consello Strive has the potential to change the entire global landscape of sports, entertainment and leadership development because of the opportunities that exist in the marketplace today and the unique experience, relationships and track record of the team we have assembled. Over the coming months we will be expanding our presence and partnerships further and rolling out a series of new services as part of the overall platform. We couldn't be more excited to have this senior group come together to build this groundbreaking new business." Tom Brady added: "Since the start of our journey at Consello our mission has been very clear – to make the best in the world even better. With Consello Strive we are bringing the very best in the world together to help advise people everywhere in the fields of sports and entertainment in ways that have never been done before. I am especially passionate about the launch of our leadership development vertical because working with leaders to drive them to search for improvement in whatever they do is something my partners and I have been devoted to our entire careers." Serena Williams added: "I am excited to deepen my relationship with Consello by joining Consello's Strive platform as a partner. The next chapter of my life will be as exciting and fulfilling as the last one, and I have no doubt that the team we have assembled here will help me do just that. I am also excited to help Consello Strive as a business to grow and expand around the world." Pau Gasol said: "I've seen firsthand the lasting impact that sports can create, both on and off the court. Joining Consello Strive as a partner is a natural step for me because of my passion for growth, mentorship, and creating impactful change, just like I am already doing through Gasol16 Ventures, my investment vehicle, and through the Gasol Foundation, whose mission is to eradicate childhood obesity. I'm excited about embarking on this journey, and I will additionally be focusing on building out our offering in the Spanish-speaking world where some of the greatest athletes, entertainers and leaders show us daily what it means to be truly great." Mark Dowley, Chairman of Consello Strive, said: "We have assembled an unstoppable team of athletes, trusted advisors to the world's business leaders, and proven global operators, who together will bring a broad-based set of perspectives, experiences and skills to the fore on behalf of the sports, entertainment and media leaders across the world. Consello Strive is unlike any other business in the market; my partners and I look forward to applying our knowledge and expertise to help our clients identify and unlock their full potential in the high growth sectors of sports, entertainment and media." Consello partner Janey Whiteside said: "Consello's unparalleled connection to the world's business leaders paired with the incomparable expertise of the sports icons involved, gives Consello Strive a unique opportunity to partner, advise and invest across the dynamic $550bn landscape that we see in front of us today in sports and entertainment. Commercializing that opportunity is something we believe we are better positioned to do than anyone else in the world today." Consello partner Mindy Grossman said: "I have spent my entire life working with and mentoring emerging leadership talent across multiple different businesses and industries, and that has taken me on an unforgettable journey through retail, sports, television, media and entertainment, and health and wellness. Launching Consello Strive today brings all those passions and interests together into one place and one platform and I truly believe we can and will change lives as part of what we are doing. I am especially thrilled that my friend and collaborator of more than 20 years, Serena Williams, is expanding her role with us on this journey and I am very confident we all can change the world together." Consello was launched less than two years ago and already has more than 100 employees and advisors, with offices in New York, London, Miami, Barcelona and Atlanta. About Consello The Consello Group is a financial services advisory and strategic investing platform. At Consello we invest capital to grow companies, we execute for our banking clients across industries, and we provide business development and marketing services to help companies grow and evolve. We also advise across sports, entertainment and leadership development, and our digital assets advisory business helps companies participate in the global digital financial services ecosystem. Consello offers these six distinct but integrated lines of businesses all on one platform: Sports, Entertainment and Leadership Development; M&A Advisory and Investment Banking; Investing; Growth and Business Development; Marketing and Brand Advisory; and Digital Assets Advisory.

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Media and Broadcasting

SONY MUSIC MASTERWORKS LAUNCHES NEW JOINT VENTURE WITH UK-BASED LIVE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY, ROAST PRODUCTIONS

PR Newswire | January 11, 2024

Sony Music Masterworks, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, today announced a new strategic venture with Roast Productions, a live entertainment company founded by Bonnie Royal and Michael Stevens. Based in London and operating internationally, Roast Productions focuses on producing theatre, concerts, and family entertainment events. Royal and Stevens will continue to lead the company's day-to-day operations and collaborate with Masterworks on the development of a range of new productions, working in close partnership with both Masterworks President Mark Cavell and Ollie Rosenblatt, founder and CEO of Senbla, a UK producer/promoter. Recent and current shows include MACBETH starring Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma playing in Liverpool, Edinburgh, London and Washington DC; 2:22 A GHOST STORY in the West End (Apollo Theatre), touring in the UK and Australia; CHRISTMAS ACTUALLY, a Christmas variety show curated by "Love Actually" filmmaker Richard Curtis and produced in partnership with Senbla; the highly acclaimed West End run of VANYA starring Andrew Scott; and the new musical COWBOY BOB at the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX; as well as the 2024 UK tour of THE 13-STOREY TREEHOUSE based on the best-selling book by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. The company will also offer production, general management, and marketing services in the West End and beyond. At the same time, Roast Productions is pleased to announce strategic agreements with National Theatre Productions and Various Productions, as co-producer for STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE at the Gillian Lynne Theatre opening in February, and with the Ambassador Theatre Group, as Creative Producer of the inaugural WIMBLEDON CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL at the New Wimbledon Theatre, launching in Summer 2024. Mark Cavell, President of Sony Music Masterworks, said, "I'm absolutely delighted to welcome Bonnie and Michael to the Sony Music Masterworks family. Their creativity and expertise will further support our endeavours in securing and creating new quality and original live productions that will captivate and entertain audiences across the globe, and provide first-class content for our other partners to promote and market." Bonnie Royal and Michael Stevens, Producers and Co-Managing Directors of Roast, commented, "It is an absolute honour to join Sony Music Masterworks and develop new work and new markets together. The strength of its vision and values makes it the ideal partner for us as we develop a diverse body of work in the UK and internationally." Sony Music Masterworks' agreement with Roast Productions is the latest in a series of strategic partnerships and acquisitions advancing its growth as a multi-faceted worldwide entertainment business operating in more than 30 countries. The network of companies includes Black Ink Presents, a Los Angeles-based creative design and production services company; Culture Creative, a production and project management team specialising in developing site-specific and bespoke projects in unique heritage and landscape settings; Netherlands-based GEA Live, which designs, represents and produces shows and experiences based on prominent IP in music, film, television, anime and gaming; The Luna Entertainment Group, the UK market-leader of open-air, drive-in and pop-up cinema experiences which also stages high quality location-based entertainment experiences, exhibitions and events; MAC Global, an award-winning, pan-regional concert promotion, talent management, events and production company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Proactiv Entertainment, the live event producer and promoter based in Barcelona, Spain; Raymond Gubbay Ltd., the music, dance & Light Trail/Lightscape promoter; RoadCo Entertainment, the New York-based producing and distribution agency specialising in live entertainment experiences; Seaview, the Tony and Olivier award-winning media company with theatre, film, TV, and digital verticals; Senbla, the London-based producer/promoter of quality music, theatre and immersive events, shows and festivals and Terrapin Station Entertainment, an artist management, tour production and sports/stadium consultancy company which specialises in family-friendly and brand-led events, immersive exhibits, game shows and charity concerts. ABOUT BONNIE ROYAL Over her career, Bonnie Royal has headed up an extensive and diverse portfolio of productions. Previously as Commercial Director of Fierylight, she worked with global brands including the children's entertainment icon PEPPA PIG for over 10 years (including 11 seasons in London's West End), and led the development and production of family titles such as Julia Donaldson's THE SMARTEST GIANT IN TOWN with Little Angel Theatre in 2020, which went on to have a sell-out UK tour and played an Olivier Award-nominated West End season. As Marketing Director, Royal's credits include The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company: PLAYS AT THE GARRICK season (which included THE WINTER'S TALE starring Dame Judi Dench and ROMEO AND JULIET starring Lily James and Richard Madden) to HAIRSPRAY (London Coliseum), CIRCUS 1903 (Southbank Centre), THE 39 STEPS (West End) and FLEABAG (West End), as well as the West End transfers of The Almeida's MARY STUART and the National Theatre's HOME, I'M DARLING. Most recent projects include Rodgers and Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA! (West End) and THE PADDINGTON BEAR EXPERIENCE (County Hall). ABOUT MICHAEL STEVENS With over more than 20 years in the performing arts industry, Michael Stevens has focused on creative collaboration, with a sustained commitment to the commissioning and production of new works. His work in an Executive Producer role with organisations – including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Festival and Arts Centre Melbourne – led to dozens of new (and many award-winning) creations across theatre, musical theatre, dance, opera, circus, classical and contemporary music, film, visual arts and in the digital arena. Returning in 2016 to London, Stevens co-founded Fiery Angel Entertainment, with which he introduced CIRCUS 1903 to London for four seasons at Royal Festival Hall and Hammersmith Apollo and BARRY HUMPHRIES' WEIMAR CABARET at the Barbican Theatre. New productions have included GUYS AND DOLLS at the Royal Albert Hall, directed by Stephen Mear with an all-star cast, and the European premiere of DOLLY PARTON'S SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Southbank Centre, as well as touring projects such as ROB BRYDON – A NIGHT OF SONGS AND LAUGHTER (80 shows at London Palladium and on tour around UK/Australia/New Zealand); PEPPA PIG – MY FIRST CONCERT (Royal Festival Hall, London Coliseum, & 90+ UK dates); BLACK BLUES BROTHERS (UK regional tour) and TUBULAR BELLS – THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION (50 shows at Royal Festival Hall and on UK tour). ABOUT SENBLA A leading producer and promoter of hundreds of live shows around the world annually, Senbla provides a wide range of services in support of performing arts productions, artist tours, large scale artist concerts, and concept-based shows, as well as theatrical and family entertainment events. Its extensive capabilities includes licensing and production, plus management of all aspects of global Intellectual Property rights. The company has worked on numerous recent productions including the 'Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse' concert with live orchestra which played 85 dates globally; Michael Bublé at the Bath Royal Crescent; a run of Lionel Richie UK shows; Diana Ross's recent UK Arena Tour; concert with live orchestra dates from Ennio Morricone, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Joss Stone, The Holiday, Love Actually, and A Muppets' Christmas Carol; opera events, the Disney 100 UK Arena Tour, and Circus 1903. Senbla also is an investor in theatrical shows including "Six" on Broadway and its US Tour, and is a co-promoter and producer of shows internationally.

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Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming Expand Innovative Programs in Fight Against Human Trafficking

PR Newswire | January 16, 2024

Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming announce their ongoing commitment to the fight against human trafficking with new support tools for victims and those at risk, a youth education program, new trainings to help Team Members combat and prevent human trafficking, and work with new community partners to create a greater impact. "We are deeply committed to the work our community partners provide for those at risk, victims and survivors of human trafficking in the United States and around the world, as we work together to combat human trafficking," said Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International and CEO of Seminole Gaming. Over the last several years, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have implemented comprehensive protocols to increase awareness of and prevent human trafficking, including training over 27,000 hotel and casino Team Members globally and collaborating with local community partners and advocacy groups. Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming are continuing their work in 2024 with direct support for victims, survivors, and at-risk youth, through the following programs: First Hospitality Brands to Globally Implement Twentyfour-Seven QR Code Created for trafficking survivors, by survivors at Twentyfour-Seven Inc., Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming are the first hospitality brands to implement the Twentyfour-Seven QR code sticker, which provides critical information and support to those who need it, while also deterring traffickers from targeting individuals on the properties. The Twentyfour-Seven QR code sticker, which has resulted in several law enforcement investigations being opened, is being implemented in 44 hotels and casinos across 13 countries. This QR code, which offers information in several different languages, is helping people at risk find a way to understand their situations and the resources available for protection. Expanding Youth Education in Mexico to Prevent Online Luring Building upon the success of the Hard Rock Social Identity Quest (SIQ), an education program that helps teens understand the risks of being lured online, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have now expanded the program into classrooms in Mexico following a well-received pilot in Quintana Roo last year that reached 35,000 students. The state's Governor has made the program a mandatory part of the educational curriculum. To effectively reach Mexican youth, the SIQ content was co-developed with experts from PACT- (Protect All Children from Trafficking; formerly ECPAT-USA), ECPAT-Mexico, and EduNetwork Partners. To date, the Hard Rock Social Identity Quest was adopted and taught by 60,000 teachers in 45 U.S. states, reaching 1.2 million high school students, eight percent of the student population. Nearly 2,000 Hard Rock team members also completed the Quest with a young person in their lives. Funding our Community Partners through Change for Change Through its Change for Change program, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming will raise funds to combat human trafficking during January. Casino guests will have the opportunity to donate change from redeemed gaming vouchers to the Hard Rock Heals Foundation, where 100 percent of the funds will benefit our community partners: PACT, the first U.S. organization to focus on the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and Twentyfour-Seven. In 2023, this program raised $100,000 for PACT and Covenant House New York. Youth Employment Program with FLITE Center Florida and Covenant House New York Offered initially in New York City and extended to South Florida last year, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming's Youth Employment Program aims to help protect youth at risk and support survivors to escape a life of trafficking by helping them forge careers in hospitality. Partners include Covenant House New York City, the largest provider of runaway and homeless youth services in New York City, and FLITE Center, South Florida's leading agency for vulnerable youth and those aging out of foster care. FLITE Center provides support to vulnerable youth with guidance on education, employment, housing health and wellness, and care coordination. Setting a New Standard for Training in the Gaming Industry with the American Gaming Association Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming are driving the advancement of industry practices to combat human trafficking with the American Gaming Association's (AGA) Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force's first-ever free industry-developed training, designed to be the new standard in training for the gaming industry. Working with non-profit and law enforcement partners, the AGA Taskforce created this training based on trauma-informed care and the contributions of trafficking survivors. It will help set a standard for the gaming industry and ensure that guest-facing Team Members know how to recognize signs that trafficking may occur and what steps to take. Learn more about Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming's corporate social responsibility initiatives at www.hardrock.com/social-responsibility. About Hard Rock®: Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies with venues in over 70 countries spanning 309 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops®, Live Performance Venues and Cafes. HRI also launched a joint venture named Hard Rock Digital in 2020, an online sportsbook, retail sportsbook and internet gaming platform. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's largest and most valuable collection of authentic music memorabilia at more than 87,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock Hotels has been honored by J.D. Power's North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study as the number one brand in Outstanding Guest Satisfaction for two consecutive years, and among the top Upper Upscale Hotels for four consecutive years. HRI became the first privately-owned gaming company designated a U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal in 2021, and has since been honored threefold. Hard Rock was also honored by Forbes among the World's Best Employers, as well as Best Employers for Women, Diversity and New Grads and a Top Large Employer in the Travel & Leisure, Gaming, and Entertainment Industry. In the 2022 Global Gaming Awards, Hard Rock was named Land-Based Operator of the Year for the second time in four years. Hard Rock International currently holds investment grades from primary investment-grade rating agencies: S&P Global Ratings (BBB) and Fitch Ratings (BBB). For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com or shop.hardrock.com. About Seminole Gaming: Seminole Gaming manages six Florida casino enterprises for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, including Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla. Seminole Gaming has long been recognized for its industry innovations and success. The Seminole Tribe was the first Indian Tribe in North America to open Ultimate Bingo, a high-stakes bingo hall and casino, which debuted in 1979 and became the forerunner of the Indian Gaming movement. Seminole Gaming is currently the only gaming company with investment grade ratings from all three primary investment-grade rating agencies: S&P Global Ratings (BBB), Moody's Corporation (Baa2) and Fitch Ratings (BBB).

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